About Dr. Matthias Eikermann
Matthias Eikermann, MD, PhD
Professor of Anaesthesia, Harvard Medical School
Vice Chair of Faculty Affairs, Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care & Pain Medicine, BIDMC
Dr. Eikermann has the vision of improving postoperative patient outcomes based on an individualized treatment approach. Outcomes that matter to daily living and quality of life after surgery and critical care are addressed in his research through three complementary approaches:
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- The investigation of highly granular pharmaco-physiological patient data to understand the effects of new treatments in vulnerable patients recovering from surgery. Dr. Eikermann and his team analyze the effects of low-dose Ketamine infusion on respiratory stimulation and transpulmonary pressure in ventilated ICU patients with the aim of identifying treatment approaches facilitating extubation readiness.
- The utilization of meticulously generated electronic data bases to focus on the effects of various patient characteristics and intraoperative factors on postoperative outcomes. The wide range of endpoints of interest includes clinical outcomes, health-care utilization (e.g. 30-day readmission) as well as long-term outcomes, such as mortality and functional independence. A current major focus of Dr. Eikermann’s research group is the identification of surgical patients at increased risk of ischemic stroke after surgery. In 2017 and 2018, his team has published three papers characterizing migraine and a patent foramen ovale as risk factors of ischemic stroke in patients undergoing surgery. Postoperative respiratory complications represent a further clinically meaningful endpoint of interest. Dr. Eikermann’s team has shown various anesthesia-related factors to be associated with adverse respiratory outcomes, such as the intraoperative use of intermediate acting neuromuscular blocking agents.
- The conduct of prospective clinical studies to verify and improve effectiveness and implementability of treatment strategies identified as promising in retrospective studies. Dr. Eikermann’s team is currently evaluating the effects of mobilization dose on discharge disposition in critically ill stroke patients, as part of a multi-center, international study conducted at BIDMC, MGH, Italian, and German centers – a follow-up study of the "SOMS" trial published in 2016. In this multicenter, international, randomized, placebo-controlled "MIDAS" trial, Dr. Eikerman's team investigated the efficacy of Midodrine treatment for refractory hypotension in critically ill patients and investigated duration of vasopressor treatment and ICU length of stay endpoints.